How to watch the Geminids, 2017's best meteor shower, this week


If you have clear skies, and can get somewhere dark and away from light pollution, then the peak of the Geminids meteor shower is the ideal opportunity to get out and witness one of nature's greatest spectacles.

The best time to watch the 2017 Geminid meteor shower, is on the night of December 13 (morning of December 14) between 1 am and 2 am. It is reported by NASA on their Twitter page. The Geminid meteor shower is the only major recurring shower known to come from an asteroid instead of a comet.

Up to 120 shooting stars per hour could be visible as the meteor shower passes over the country, reports NRK.

In most of the parts of the world, one can see the Geminids with naked eyes under dark and clear skies.

As the Earth flies through the debris of a odd cross between a comet and an asteroid, 3200 Phaethon, material from that object will enter the Earth's atmosphere and put on a light show that peaks Wednesday and Thursday, beginning at around 10:30 p.m. each night.

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With slower moving meteors composed of hard asteroid rock these shooting stars are brighter than most and can last for well over a second as they streak across the night sky. As a bonus this year, cosmologists will have a chance to examine Phaethon up close in mid-December, when it crosses adjacent to Earth since its discovery in 1983. Then, give your eyes some time to adjust to the dark and start scanning the skies. The Geminid radiant is in the constellation Gemini.

"The only thing for folks to do is to travel to find a wide open space away from city lights to see the meteors", he said. Gemini will rise in the east, but shooting stars can be seen in all quadrants of the sky - so most experts advise simply lying flat and looking up.

When can I see the Geminid meteor shower?

Some might be from "background meteors" with names like Sigma Hydrids, Monocerotids, and the Comae Berenicids.

"If you're in Seattle or Everett or Tacoma, you may see a few, but you have to set aside the time to look", Ingram said.